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Match Reports

Report: The Imps V Wigan Athletic

1 December 2020

Match Reports

Report: The Imps V Wigan Athletic

1 December 2020

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The Imps picked up three points getting back to winning ways at LNER Stadium after coming from behind to defeat Wigan Athletic this evening.

Despite City having more of the ball early in the game, it was Wigan Athletic who took the lead early in the second half courtesy of Kal Naismith. The Imps weren’t to be denied victory though as Jorge Grant scored a goal of the season contender from a set piece with 20 minutes to go to level the game up, and Tom Hopper scored the decisive winning strike from inside the box in the final ten minutes of the game.

City began the game with five changes to the starting eleven from the side which took on Plymouth Argyle in the Emirates FA Cup last weekend. Tom Hopper and Lewis Montsma amongst those returning to the team.

Michael Appleton’s side started the game in good shape, confident with the ball and pressing high into the Wigan half of the field. Tom Hopper was making The Latic’s defence work hard and his endeavour almost fashioned a chance as he chased a rather laboured back pass towards Jamie Jones in the Wigan goal, but the stopper got there just in time.

Chances weren’t too forthcoming but City weren’t getting frustrated, looking to work the spaces and find the opportunity rather than force the issue.

Following a slip in the City half from the visitors, Conor McGrandles pounced and drove forward, slipping a precise pass out wide to Brennan Johnson who took the ball to the byline and hammered in a low cross but Jamie Jones did well to hold possession, getting fully behind the ball at his near post.

The Imps controlled possession for lengthy periods, Lewis Montsma taking the ball forward and combining with Robbie Gotts before getting a cross in, which Wigan managed to deal with and with half an hour gone the hosts were largely in control. But, whilst the game remained level the Latics weren’t to be underestimated, Dan Gardner floated over a dangerous cross which had Alex Palmer coming out to punch clear as Kyle Joseph was aiming to nod at goal, then Curtis Tilt had a shot blocked by Adam Jackson which deflected wide of the target.

Johnson showed quick feet, twisting and turning inside the Wigan area after carrying the ball forward, he then attempted a toe poked finish with very little backlift and it almost deceived Jamie Jones, but it just went wide of the upright.  Johnson then turned creator, cutting inside to feed James Jones, who took a touch and fired a rasping drive which had the Wigan ‘keeper grasping at air but again the visitors were relieved to see the ball head wide, albeit very close to the angle of post and bar.

Half Time

The Imps 0 Wigan Athletic 0

The Latics started the half positively, as Kyle Joseph cut in between Edun and Walsh on the City left, the cross didn’t find a blue and white striped shirt initially but a second ball in, this time from the right did find its intended target but the assistant’s flag was up.  That close call was followed up with the opening goal, Kal NAISMITH taking control just outside the City box, he shuffled one way then the other and hit a low shot which took a slight deflection that took it past Palmer and into the goal.

Instantly, The Imps pushed for an almost immediate response, winning two successive corners but Wigan stood strong. Gotts fired off target from wide on the right as City looked to pile on the pressure. However, the visitors remained resolute and withstood The Imps’ attempts to level the game and slowed the game down as a result.

Anthony Scully curled a low shot from the edge of the area just after the hour mark which Jamie Jones gladly snaffled up, then Palmer did the same as his opposite number up the other end of the pitch as Naismith hit a daisycutter through a sea of legs.

The Imps had a free kick on the edge of the box, just to the right of centre as Johnson went down under a robust challenge from Alex Perry… The free kick was lined up by Jorge GRANT and boy did he deliver, curling the ball over the wall and into the top corner.  The City skipper was getting heavily involved and he set Harry Anderson into space to fire on target as the momentum was once again back with Michael Appleton’s men with twenty minutes remaining.

Hooper nipped in to win possession back around 30 yards from goal, he fed Anderson who pushed the ball onto Gotts who delivered dangerously into the box but Jamie Jones dived low to block the cross.


Scully was brought down on the left flank, Grant sized up the set piece to hoist it into the box.. It was played low to Jones worked to the right and crossed by Gotts towards Walsh but Tilt beat him to it… Within seconds though the ball was back into the box courtesy of Scully’s cross and Walsh did connect this time but just as the City man thought of wheeling away in celebration, Tom Pearce was on the line to make the block.

The Imps though were to get their noses in front with seven minutes left, Scully received the ball from Edun then the Irishman looked up and played into the feet of HOPPER inside the box who turned and fired on target, the hit was too hot for Jamie Jones to handle and the ball nestled in the net.

Full Time

The Imps 2 Wigan Athletic 1

The Teams

The Imps

1          Alex PALMER

4          Lewis MONTSMA

5          Adam JACKSON

7          Tayo EDUN

8          James JONES

9          Tom HOPPER

10        Jorge GRANT

11        Anthony SCULLY

18        Conor McGRANDLES

20        Brennan JOHNSON

24        Robbie GOTTS


31        Sam LONG

3          Max MELBOURNE

14        Theo ARCHIBALD (90’ for Johnson)

16        Joe WALSH (34’ for Jackson)

22        Tj EYOMA

26        Harry ANDERSON (58’ for McGrandles)

30        Sean ROUGHAN

GOAL: Grant 69’, Hopper 83’

Booked: Grant 75’

Wigan Athletic

1          Jamie JONES

3          Tom PEARCE

4          Curtis TILT

7          Kal NAISMITH

12        Matty PALMER

15        Dan GARDNER

22        Kyle JOSEPH

23        Chris MERRIE

24        Alex PERRY

27        Tom JAMES

32        Adam LONG


25        Owen EVANS

19        Ollie CRANKSHAW

20        Emika OBI

26        Charlie JOLLEY

30        Thelo AASGAARD (78’ for Gardner)

34        Luke ROBINSON

36        Scott SMITH

Goal: Naismith 52’

Booked: Jamie Jones 59’

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Assistants: Alistair Nelson & Oliver Bickle

4th Official: Carl Boyeson

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